While the post-Brexit rally has been outstanding, the market looks very overbought and ready to digest some of the big gains we have seen. The good thing for investors is there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and taking profits now makes very good sense. The question is what to do with the proceeds. Cash is useless from a dividend standpoint, and the Treasury market is more overbought than the stock market. However, good blue chips trading way off the highs may be a good answer.
While the rising tide lifts all boats metaphor is usually correct, there are plenty of solid companies, some that reported great earnings, that are trading way below 52-week highs. In fact we screened the Merrill Lynch research database and found four stocks rated Buy with dividends of at least 4% that fit in the not-overbought club, and they have solid upside to the current price targets.
This is the largest of the rural local exchange carriers (RLECs) and is expected to continue get a large dose of government money to provide continuing internet service in rural areas. CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company enabling millions of customers to transform their businesses through innovative technology solutions.
CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics and IT consulting, and it operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. The company provides broadband, voice, video, data and managed services over a robust 250,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000-route-mile international transport network.
Top Wall Street analysts have liked like the stock over the past year as the company transforms itself from a telecom to a technology company. While some have worried over the company maintaining the dividend, most are positive on the comparisons for the second half of the year and sequential revenue stability. Top analysts also cite updates on the data center sale progress and the potential for stocks buybacks as additional positives.
CenturyLink investors receive a gigantic 7.05% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $42, and the Wall Street consensus target is $29.57. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $30.64 a share.
This company is in the automobile sector, and shares look to be very inexpensive at current levels. Despite all the recall troubles and litigation issues, hedge funds and mutual funds are continuing to stick with General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), as many view the stock as very undervalued. GM trades just below an incredible 5.67 times estimated 2016 earnings. The company, like competitor Ford, has benefited from incredible sales in China to boost revenue. GM invested heavily in China decades ago, and it grabbed a big chunk of what is now the world’s largest auto market.
Long-term patient investors that can look beyond current issues may stand to make outstanding money on the auto giant, especially as the oil price plummet and low gasoline prices continue to push new buyers into showrooms. The company reported very solid second-quarter earnings this week, and with gas prices staying at the lowest levels in years and GM producing some of the best new models in years, the future for the battered stock looks very good.
GM investors are paid an outstanding 4.75% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a $42 price target. The Wall Street consensus target is at $36.69. Shares closed Thursday at $32.03.
This company is a financial services leader that has strong positions in both equity exchange traded funds (ETFs) and actively managed equity and debt mutual funds. Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) looks to be very well-positioned to capitalize on inflows into both segments, as well as higher asset prices, as many on Wall Street see a continuation of the seven-year bull market.
Invesco PowerShares is the boutique investment management firm that manages a family of exchange traded funds (ETFs). The company has been part of Invesco, which markets the PowerShares product, since 2006. The incredible growth and popularity of the product is why many on Wall Street remain so bullish on the stock.
The analysts see the company as one that is best positioned to compete for share, given mix, product offerings and attractive relative performance.
Invesco investors receive 4.0% dividend. The $30 Merrill Lynch price target is less than the consensus target of $33. The shares closed Thursday at $28.11.
This top retailer has been pounded and could be offering investors a solid entry point. Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) operates department stores in the United States. It offers private label, exclusive and national brand apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty and home products to children, men and women customers. The company also sells its products online at Kohls.com and through mobile devices. As of March 3, 2015, it operated 1,162 department stores in 49 states.
The company recently got a ton of free social media marketing and advertising when a Texas mom’s crazy internet post wearing a Chewbacca mask that she bought in a bargain bin at the store went incredibly viral. The clip has been seen by more than 135 million people, making it the most watched video ever on Facebook. Kohl’s sent representatives to her house with a trove of gift cards and other items, and of course, more Chewbacca masks for the kids.
Kohl’s shareholders receive a huge 5.06% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is $42, and the consensus target is $40.95. The stock closed Thursday at $39.51 per share.
These four companies run the gamut of risk, but they all have one thing in common: solid payouts with decent growth potential. With the markets trading right near the top levels, it may be wise to buy partial positions now and see if the summer doesn’t offer up another sell-off.